I often follow what the Maricopa County Democratic Party is doing. Not only am I very interested in the candidates running as Democrats in Maricopa County, but as a whole, I support the Maricopa County Democratic Party, because I am a Democrat, who also lives in Maricopa County.
So you could imagine my confusion when I noticed on a fundraising event flyer for a Maricopa County Democratic Party, one that says they are “Celebrating Our Communities” and I noticed Warren Stewart’s name listed on a flyer. You cansee the event’s Facebook page here.
As a member of the LGBT community, one that is a large voting bloc in the Central Phoenix area, Warren Stewart has done anything but celebrate my community. Instead he has stood in the way of it. In a letter he drafted to the President, he made clear that he does not support my right, or my community’s right, to get married to those I love. He has made clear that he does not welcome us into the celebration of marriage, and therefore, we are not welcome in his community.
I am also a little confused about why on earth he is welcome there, and being billed as someone we can “mingle” with – because last year the Maricopa County Democratic Party decided to add LGBT rights, including the right to marry, to the plank. In fact they mention it in two places. First, and to quote, they state: “Arizona Democrats condemn intolerance and unfairness in our personal and professional lives.“ That should mean that they condemn Warren Stewarts stand against me and my personal life of one day getting married. Additionally, they state, under their civil rights section:
“As Arizona Democrats, we believe that justice and adherence to law are not pliable concepts but indisputable rights. An individual’s civil and voting rights enjoy well-established protection under the laws of our state and nation. People should have the ability to pursue justice without fear or repercussion because of religion, race, age, cultural or ethnic heritage, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, political party, income level, or social status.”
That means these are the values they embrace. These are the same values I embrace. But apparently Warren Stewart doesn’t.
Because Warren Stewart is attending this event, I have to question how serious the Maricopa County Democratic Party is in their support for LGBT rights. Was it just a political move at last year’s convention? Or do they truly stand by members like me in their community? Including him in this event tells me exactly what it was, a political move last year that they do not have the backbone to enforce.
Now please let me be clear as to whom I am. I’m an active member in this community. I have knocked on doors, done volunteer recruitment, and love the community I live in. I have even written about it in the past, and I attend several community functions, including ones with the Maricopa County Democratic Party.
The LGBT community doesn’t get much. We often are overlooked in the political process, especially in this state, and if there is one place where we feel comfortable it’s in the Central Phoenix area. Inviting Warren Stewart to this event illustrates that the Maricopa County Democratic Party is not serious about supporting LGBT rights and issues. It might look nice in their political plank, but I challenge them to put their money where their mouth is.
As a member of the LGBT community, I have made a decision that I will not be attending this event. And I implore everyone who believes in the values that the Maricopa County Democratic Party say they support, sit this one out as well.
Warren Stewart does not support the values of this community or of the Democratic Party. He most certainly doesn’t celebrate them, and I frankly worry that money I may donate to the Maricopa County Democratic Party might go to candidates like Stewart, who simply do not support their community as a whole.
Shame on the Maricopa County Democratic Party for asking me to donate money so I can be in a room with a man who doesn’t think I belong there. Because it’s clear who doesn’t belong in that room, and it is Warren Stewart.